Learning to teach with information technology: Preservice teachers' perspectives and experiences across their three-semester preparation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Gerald M. Mager


Teacher preparation, Information technology, Preservice teachers

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


As new teachers are expected to close the gap of technology availability and teachers' capabilities for using information technology to improve student learning, preservice teachers' learning to teach with information technology has attracted great attention in the teacher education community. A majority of studies assesses preservice teachers' technology competency and/or the change of individual attitudes as a result of taking technology-specific courses. Few studies focus on preservice teachers' technology field experiences either before or during student teaching. No studies explicitly investigate their perspectives and experiences throughout their teacher preparation experience. Little is known about the influence of information technology on preservice students' professional development (Bartlett, 2002; Linnell, 2000; Mullen, 2001).

This study spanned three consecutive semesters---two semesters before student teaching and one semester of student teaching---exploring an on-going and active learning process through which the preservice teachers make sense, construct and reconstruct their understanding about the pedagogical use of information technology in their field placements. It also investigated the influence of information technology on their professional growth.

This study was primarily informed via qualitative methods to investigate a cohort of preservice teachers' perspectives and experiences in an undergraduate teacher preparation program at Syracuse University. Interviews, observations and document data were collected from and analyzed on 10 purposefully selected participants. Surveys were conducted on more than 30 participants to select the focus participants as well as to supplement the qualitative findings.

The study indicated that learning to teach with information technology is an idiosyncratic and developmental process situated in multiple individual and social contexts. The use of information technology helped the preservice teachers upgrade their content knowing, and develop the meaning of inclusive education, a sense of teacher identity, collegiality and leadership potential. In some cases, technology experiences changed their views of teaching and their own perceptions of themselves as teachers. A model that consists of five developmental levels of learning to teach with information technology was identified. This study points to the evolution of technology pedagogical content knowing . It shed new light on infusing information technology in teacher preparation and suggested implications of preparing technology-competent future teachers.


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